It’s not often I get to visit Sydney and spend time with my fellow bloggers, but when Sydney Writer’s Festival came up with an all day YA event, I knew it was the perfect time.
Only having a weekend there, I knew time was going to be short, especially since I have friends in Sydney to catch up with as well. On Saturday, we shopped and ate the most delicious yumcha. My friend has a fitbit, and we walked for 13 km throughout the whole day! It was a massive day, but it was nothing in preparation for the next.
I woke up early and headed into the CBD and met up with Jenna (Reading with Jenna) and Aentee (Read at Midnight)! Aentee and I met last year in Melbourne, but it was my first time meeting up with my lovely co-blogger. As expected, we all got along like a house on fire especially where Jenna and I bonded with our mutual dislike of ACOMAF and Aentee and I bonded over our love of taking photos, specifically shameless selfies.
TeenCon – Cornucopia
After eating a delicious breakfast, we headed into Walsh Bay where the festival was held. Now being from Brisbane, I was actually quite overwhelmed by the massive lines and the crowd of people at the festival!
We lined up for TeenCon and met a whole heap of bloggers, booktubers, authors and publishers who I’d been meaning to meet for a while. Thanks for everyone who came up and said hi! It was so exciting being at an event where I recognised people from their Twitter profile pics.
There were 2 Teencon sessions throughout the day, and we attended the one hosted by Aussie YA author Will Kostakis. It was really entertaining seeing him pit publishers against one another as they pitched their favourite YA heroines and making hilarious jokes throughout the session.
- When We Collided by Emery Lord – Bloomsbury (Our review)
- What I Saw by Beck Nicholas – Harlequin Teen (Our review)
- The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier – Penguin Random House (Our review)
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – Walker Books
- Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach – Simon & Schuster
- The Outliers by Kimberley McCreight – HarperCollins
- The Special Ones by Em Bailey – Hardie Grant Egmont
- Confused by Wanda Wiltshire – Pantera Press
- A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty – Pan Macmillan (Our review)
- Waer by Meg Caddy – Text Publishing
- Ruined by Amy Tintera – Allen & Unwin (Our review)
After talking about their latest books, the publishers were pitted against each other for our favourite heroine. Of course, Celaena Sardothien won!
- The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson – Allen & Unwin (August)
- When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah – Pan Macmillan (July)
- Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley – Pan Macmillan (August)
- And I Darken by Kiersten White – Penguin Random House (July)
- Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth – HarperCollins (January 2017)
- Shield by Rachael Craw – Walker Books (September)
- Threader by Rebekah Turner – Harlequin Teen (May)
- Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige – Bloomsbury (September)
- The Road to Winter by Mark Smith – Text Publishing (July)
- The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid – Simon & Schuster (November)
- The Riders of Thunder Realm by Steven Lochran – Hardie Grant Egmont (July)
Following these reveals, it was also extremely entertaining seeing people go up against each other for their own pitches of books in exchange for prizes.
Is This Just a Fantasy? – Claire Zorn, Michael Grant, Jack Heath & Jay Kristoff
Part of the reason why I went to TeenCon was to get my books signed by Claire Zorn and Jay Kristoff who are some of my most favourite Aussie authors! We had to get tickets while we were there though, and when I asked the organisers they only had the last 3 left which I picked up! It was so close, I would’ve been so disappointed if I had missed out. Luckily it was meant to be and Aentee, Jenna and I got some great seats at the panel along with Emily. Highlights:
- I thought Jay Kristoff provided some fantastic insight into the YA community and the way he writes. He says the passion that the audience displays in our community is fantastic and makes it worth writing for!
- Claire Zorn objected towards her novels (particularly The Sky So Heavy) being called fantasy, because she said it’s based on a nuclear winter, scientific events that can actually happen.
- I hadn’t heard of Jack Heath before, but he was really entertaining throughout the panel as he referred to his comprehensive notes and showcased his knowledge about the YA audience and writing.
- Michael Grant is a pioneer, he doesn’t take into account trends in the bookstore but published GONE at the perfect time when dystopian was in trend. Overall, their advice to other writers is to write what you love.
Overall it was a really fantastic panel and I enjoyed the insight and discussions provided by these fabulous authors. It was great finally meeting Claire and Jay at the author signing too!
After the panel, some of us went to lunch and had some delicious Thai food, before finally hitting the bookstores at Dymocks and Kinokinuya. We got a generous goodie bag of 10 books from TeenCon though (most of which I had doubles of) so we were so tired carrying them around! I’ll show you my haul this weekend.
Overall, I had a fantastic time with fellow bloggers and readers at the Sydney Writer’s Festival and would definitely do it again! It was so much fun meeting everyone and indulging in a day filled with bloggers and books and spending time with my favourites.
Have you been to a writer’s festival before? What books listed here are you looking forward to?